1. Never go into a Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, or Michaels craft store without a coupon in hand or on your smart phone! Not only do these stores place coupons in circulars or the paper, but if you sign up for their email distribution list, you will receive coupons weekly. You can save 40%-50% per item with these coupons! (Extra tip: JoAnn's will allow you to use multiple coupons per visit)
2. Twine goes a long way! Ribbon is always such a cute accessory to packaging items, but you will be spending a lot more on spools of ribbon than if you buy a spool of twine! I love to buy my twine from The Twinery.
3. When purchasing decorations, packaging, or party favors, don't forget to check our your nearest dollar store or Target "dollar" section!
4. Though I love the websites and candy stores that allow customers to buy candy in bulk, that still can get really expensive. So instead of filling large apothecary jars with an abundance of candy, try using smaller containers or individual treat bags for guests to take with them.
5. Sometimes you can buy the perfect color coordinating candy at your local stores on clearance at the end of holidays!
6. Try selecting items for the table that have a great impact at a low cost, such as water bottles, soda bottles, and to-go bags or boxes.
7. Use decorations that you may already have around the house that work with your theme, such as picture frames, holiday decorations, vases, jars, buckets, toys from your child's room, etc.
8. If you don't have wood crates, hat boxes, or risers, try using sturdy cardboard boxes and wrap them with paper or paint them.
9. You don't have to buy ready made tablecloths or table runners. These can easily be made by going to the fabric store. Plus, you have so many more options of patterns! (If you go to JoAnn's, don't forget to take your coupon!)
10. The candy that you use to hold up cake pops, Oreo pops, and marshmallow pops, etc. should not be expensive as they are really only fillers for the jars. Try using less expensive and easily accessible candies such as Frooties (these are like Tootsie rolls but are fruit flavored. They are great because you can buy them by color/flavor), Candy Corn, M&M's etc.
11. When buying color specific candy, don't forget to check your grocery store's candy section...M&M's offer packages that contain just green, red/purple candies, York Peppermint and Almond Joy pieces come in blue/white and blue/brown, and of course Reese's pieces are orange and brown.
12. Bake cupcakes yourself! These are so easy and are so inexpensive to make. Leave the more complicated baked goods to the experts.
13. Price around for the best printing prices. Different copy centers have different pricing, make sure you are choosing the best price in addition to the best quality. Also, don't forget about the smaller copy centers!
14. Paper pom poms are incredibly easy to make, but Party City sells them at a pretty good price. You might pay more for the tissue paper than if you buy them already put together.
15. Always check out the Oriental Trading Company for party decorations/favors. They have just about everything you can think of to fit your party needs! Don't forget to take advantage of the periods of time when they offer free shipping (helps if you plan early enough)!
16. Paper mache letters/numbers make for great and inexpensive center pieces or table decor.
Lastly, if you plan your party early enough, it will allow you to find the best deals and you will spend less money. Plus you won't be nearly as stressed!
Happy Party Planning!